Conversation Starter: The Birth of Empathy

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  • March 22, 2021
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By Mark Macias

I read today that Galileo said how we perceive the world depends on our particular frame of reference. While he may have been talking about time and space, I think we can apply that to our view of people.

For how can we humanely understand another person’s pain unless we have experienced it directly?

Empathy is more powerful than sympathy because it enlists a pain that is equal. That’s why I’m learning today that traveling the world is not only enlightening for the mind, it is also empowering for the spirit.

Travel Outside Your Comfort Zone

It’s easy to succumb to the thought that our world is particularly burdensome, but travel outside your comfort zone and you will quickly see how the description of burdensome is subjective.

We all hear and read about the suffering around the world, but what is our motivation for action? It’s a distant thought as soon as our world turns. But live another world, travel to an uncomfortable home and you will feel the blessings of life.

Perhaps that’s why so many previous generations have faulted capitalism. It encourages consumption at the expense of the weak. And while consumption is true elation in moments of exchange, it should not be forgotten that utter moments of bliss arrive unexpectedly in moments of observation– The birth of a child, the sprinkles of rain in the arms of a loved one, the touch of a hand in moments of fear.

So always remember, your frame of reference depends on where you stand.

And if you truly want to change your paradigm, you must step outside your comfort zone and allow foreign thoughts to enter your mind. It may seem scary at first, but the human mind is resilient. It will adapt to your new frame of reference in due time and with that the birth of empathy will spring forth.

Click here to read an article inspired by a funeral.